EAST LANSING, MI. (WCIA) — Illinois football is proving its a second half team. The Illini (6-4, 4-3) scored 27 fourth quarter points to beat Michigan State 37-34 Saturday in the biggest comeback in school history.
“We’re fighters man, just scrappy,” Illinois running back Reggie Corbin said. “We’re missing guys, some of our best guys. Just gotta keep going, that’s the mentality of our team and that’s what we live by and it’s done us justice.”
“We’ve been thru too much these last two years,” Illinois junior cornerback Nate Hobbs said. “We’ve been blown out too many times just to lay down and give up. I feel like it really just came from our will, it was a thing of will. We were on the sidelines, like, this thing is not over. Like we didn’t come too far, work way too hard for this game to go like that.”
Michigan State had a 28-3 lead late in the second quarter before Illinois got some momentum right before half off a 46-yard Hail Mary touchdown pass from Brandon Peters to Josh Imatorbhebhe. Then Peters orchestrated a 13-play, 75-yard game winning drive in 3:17 to give the Illini the lead with :05 left. The victory clinches bowl eligibility for the first time since 2014 for Illinois.